Allow me to explain, I was fresh out of university and working in my first real job in human resources. I was walking a factory floor, talking to employees and I came a cross a group of very happy women who were packing chips into boxes from a fast moving conveyor belt. We talked about their work and they suggested I try out their job.
After the joke at my expense, I couldn’t help but wonder what made them so happy at work? Their work was hard, the pay nothing special and the rotational shifts a burden on normal living, yet they were fulfilled and productive and very committed to their work and their employer.
From that small encounter I began to research why some people are happier and perform better than others at work. My first and biggest realisation was that many workplaces don’t actually have happy, engaged, positive and proactive workforces or cultures. In fact a surprising percentage of organisations have deeply ingrained negative cultures turning new employees into disengaged staff in a matter of weeks, managers that weren’t managing at all, low levels of performance and a total lack of commitment to the employer.
How does this happen and what can be done about it? I began to understand and isolate the factors that impacted on employee and organisational performance.
My consistent strategy became working on the performance of the managers, removing barriers to efficient processes, introducing performance appraisals aimed at engaging staff and fixing the issues from the past. I trained, coached and advised all levels of leaders to improve their performance and help them to engage their staff. These interventions delivered amazing results.
However there was another important element - people needed to know what their organisation stood for so they could become part of that vision. A confused organisational culture produced confused performance expectations and ultimately wasted effort. The way to achieve happy, high performance workforces was to focus on improving the culture.
And from there I developed the 6 critical guideposts that form the offerings of People Strong. I learnt that when an organisation looks inward and genuinely asks how can I support my people to succeed, and then commits resources to change, and actively includes the employees in the process - results are assured.
From supporting, coaching and advising individuals to teaching and working with teams and developing and implementing strategies in my own businesses and in other organisations, I continue to work on creating new resources for organisations to think and act People Strong.
Andrea is an enthusiastic and effective people and performance management practitioner with nearly 20 years of experience. She has worked with and in the private, public and non for profit sectors across Australia and in Southt East Asia to design and implement business improvement initaitives.
Her experience is sought after to mentor leaders, improve organisational culture and engagement, leverage people management, redesign workforce activity and introduce intiatives to optimize organisational performance.
In addtion to completing complementary qualifications, Andrea has gained accreditation as an Excecutive Coach. She also owns and operates three small sucessful businesses in Cairns and has created a self coachihg app, iCoachMe, enabling users to improve criticial thinking, problem solving and goal achievement skills.
Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.
~ Anne M. Mulcahy, former CEO of Xerox~